Only in Africa Moments Vol 2

En route to Outpost we touched down in Zanzibar. We were joined for the onward flight by ex President of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa and his entourage of two fat and suited bodyguards. One carried Mkapa’s cane, the other his cushion. If I am ever in the position where I need a bodyguard, I want him to be lean and carry a gun.
Every time the pilot spoke to the passengers subsequent to Mr Mkapa clambering aboard, he began by addressing the Honourable Ex President Mkapa, Ladies and Gentlemen. Except that his pronunciation means that he said ‘On-Horrible Ex President …’ which made me giggle which wasn’t prudent since bodyguard armed with cane was in seat directly in front of me.
Anthony and I eat lunch in dodgy dive in Outpost. We select from a menu which includes ‘Paper Stake’, ‘Bony Fish’ and ‘Bony Finger of Beef’. I opt for Chicken Stu and wonder whether it had a brother called Bill.
On the way to Outpost I also flew via Dar es Salaam where I was obliged to change planes which involved boarding a bus to take me from the terminal 50 meters across the runway. This seemed mildly absurd. By contract, and perhaps because the Tanzania Aviation Authority imposes less stringent rules the further one is from the capital, en route home I boarded a plane in Mwanza by walking 150m down the runway and directly beneath the wings of another plane which was being refuelled at the time. The stench of aviation fuel was thick in the hot air. I wondered what Western Health and Safety standards would make of that.


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